5 Encouraging Truths To Guide You In The New Year (Guest Post Today)

I have had the privilege of guest posting again and today I’m on Patty’s Blog at GloriousWithinHer.com

Patty is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom who loves the Lord, her husband, Matthew, and son, Solomon. She loves being a mother and wife, teaching, devouring delicious dishes, saving money, and continually creating an intentional, Christ-focused dwelling place for her family.

You can find my guest post here and I hope you are encouraged for the New Year!

 

Where are angels when we need them?

warrior-angelI believe angels are sent to protect us. They are commanded by King Jesus to direct affairs and protect us from the enemy who would want us to turn from Him just because we experience tough times.

For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You carefully; and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”…Luke 4:10, 11

Let me share a recent experience of mine which included angels commanded by God to protect me from harm.

I was getting off the interstate onto a familiar road, looking left, then right, then left again….you know how that goes? I was careful that my path was clear before pulling off the exit ramp turning left onto the road.

All of a sudden, I heard vehicles collide, before even seeing them. What I did see were two vans skidding across the road toward me. Now, mind you, I drive a Nissan Versa. So I was frozen in time in those few seconds as they are moving closer toward me. My thoughts were that the one van would hit me and I was braced for impact. This all happened so quickly, that I had no time even to think about backing up or otherwise get out of the way.

Then, just as suddenly, the one van directly headed for me stopped as if something invisible caused to it come to a complete and sudden stop. That vehicle was so close to mine that I had to back up to open my car.

I sensed an angel between my car and the oncoming van, holding it back. Yes, that was a moment in time I will never forget. And yes, I believe God commands His angels to do battle for us, even in the smallest of issues.

Having said all of the above, I often wonder why me and that time? Why does it seem as if sometimes angels are sent and sometimes they are not? God is Omniscient (all knowing), Omnipresent (all present), and Omnipotent (all powerful). He sees the bigger picture. He knows there are more of His children affected in any given situation than we are individually aware. I just have to trust that He knows what is needed at any given moment in time for each of us.

I don’t believe this takes away from the fact that He loves each and every one of us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. And the Work of the Cross covers all of our human error which apparently caused the car wreck from which I barely escaped.

 

How do you deal with trials?

Our family is once again experiencing trials of epic proportions. This summer has been one trial after another. I became very sick with a condition that has been building over many years. I’ve lost 35 pounds since October 2015, but most of that weight was lost between March and beginning of August of this year.  I’m definitely happy to have lost weight and I’m still trying to eat healthy so even though my health is improving, I would like to continue to lose down to a new goal.

In January our family experienced another stressful setback.

Next thing that happened my brother had emergency surgery about six weeks ago for a life-threatening situation. He survived and is recovering well.

Now we have news again that the stressful situation from January is rearing its ugly head again.

So last night I woke up about 1:30 a.m. and could not get back to sleep with all this stuff swirling around my head. And I’m sure I’m not the only family member who lost sleep. It’s still pre-dawn so I don’t want to start calling or texting.

I finally chose to read my bible and found Job 1:13-19. Each of those verses starts with the previous report still being made to Job about something catastrophic which just happened. Each verse starting with 14 starts with “While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news:…”

Wow, talk about being bombarded with bad news one right after the other. At least I have had some sort of a reprieve between each episode of bad news.

I know our family will get through this, just as Job eventually was blessed for his faith in God through all those catastrophes, even the loss of his children.

I don’t know about you, but I see those people from the Bible stories lived the same kind of lives we live, they had the same doubts, the same reactions to trouble, the same heart wounds that we experience today. But, in the end, they put their faith in knowing God was their provider, He was their healer, and He was the restorer of all that was lost. And I find great comfort in that.

With much difficulty and in my misery and insomnia, I fell back on another Scripture which helps me focus on the good days past and the ones ahead. The days of blessings from my Father.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT

Now I was ready to doze off for a couple of hours. Thank you, Father, for giving us your Word to help in times of trial and tribulation.

How Do You Share Your Faith?

Do you believe you are special and created with a special personality makeup by the Creator, Himself? It’s true; He took special care in creating you. Look at Psalm 139 for a start. There are others which talk about how He knew us even before we were born. That resonates special with me. We each are made in His image, which means our personalities are a small part of who He is. Now as we grow into adults, things happen which affect how we manifest those unique personality attributes. Sometimes we need help to reach deep within the rubble of hurts, wounds, and misconceptions to get to the person that God created in us. And of course, we need to submit to His teaching and training.

Have you ever taken a personality test such as a Meyers-Briggs? There are other great testings out there as well, but I happen to really like this one. I’ve taken this test 3 times in the past 30 years, and I’ve come away with the same personality result. Can I tell you how it felt to be understood? I had a unique personality type which according to this particular test is rare. Some explanations say the INFJ type is found in only 3% of the population. Most others reviews at least say it is rare. So my feelings of not being who God made me to be, were wrong. He created me with this personality type. So now I’m free to be me! How awesome is that! Same for you. Get to know who God created you to be by studying His Word as a start. If you need help to get there, go for it!

So what does this have to do with sharing our faith? We are commanded to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” in Matthew 28:19. The part of teaching is also translated into discipling in some versions. When we teach, we are using our personality type and experiences to share how God has worked in our lives. We all experience some hurts, woundings, bad experiences and wrong thoughts imposed on us. But what we can share is how God has helped us work through these things to become more of the person He planned for us. Yes, many times He uses other Christians to help us on our Journey.

What I’m saying here is we all have a different style in sharing our faith. We don’t need to criticize whether someone is doing it different than we are, and we don’t need to condemn ourselves because we think we may not have all those memorized verses handy, or a great oratorical speech or a charismatic approach. God can use us wherever we are in our Journey. The point is to share how He has helped along your journey.

God bless and enjoy your journey, knowing God’s hand is in it at all times.

What Is Your Purpose?

nature-sunset-person-woman-medium

I’m always looking for ways, including Scriptures which speak to our purpose. “What am I supposed to do with my life?” This is a question I hear all the time from my coaching clients. My husband and I are in a season of life with grown, married children and six beautiful grandchildren. We definitely had a purpose when we were raising our sons. Both of us wanted to give them a sure foundation so they would grow up to be the men God created them to be. “So now what?” you might be asking.

I have found purpose in using past trials, hurts, and heart wounds to help others find their purpose. That is my purpose for this season of my life.

Reading and studying what God’s Word says about purpose is quite time-consuming but a worthy cause. We know God created us for himself. He delights in us, and we are to reflect his Glory. If we are believers in Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross, we are commanded to share that Gospel message.

In addition to the generalized purposes for us and a reason for our birth, I believe God has a distinct purpose for each of us. He gave us individual personalities. We are all different in what motivates us. We each have differing spiritual gifts. And at the end of it all, we use our individualities to accomplish the purposes of our Creator.

Our distinct purpose can be used to bring others to an understanding of their Creator.
Some verses which speak to individual purpose are:

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” Proverbs 16:1

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

“But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,” Acts 26:16

And there are many more. Just do a google search on Bible verses which speak about purpose.

So yes, our purpose is intertwined with God’s purpose for us and why we were created. Bottom line, we were not created just to be born, live our lives, and then die. We each are to make an impact for God on this earth with everything and everyone He created.

So I’d like to leave you with these thoughts and a challenge to search Scripture for the many verses which speak to our purpose on earth.

Think On These Things

Sometimes Holy Spirit gives me a word for my morning in the wee hours when I am just dozing on and off. I am especially aware of His word early Thursday mornings when, as an admin for a blogging network, it’s my turn to post a morning greeting.
This morning He brought to my mind Psalm 139. Particularly verse 14 which says in the HCSB translation: “I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.”
If I believe the Bible is the true Word of God, why do I doubt my value? God, Himself, has said that you and I have great value! I always have to bring these and other Scriptures to mind when I’m feeling “less than.”
Instead of focusing on the negative in our lives, let’s do a search of other Scriptures that point to our value.
Speaking of an emphasis on the negative, God’s Word instructs us to focus on good things. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV Positive thinking confirmed in Scripture.
So back to other Scripture which points out our value to Jesus who died for US! His only requirement for eternity with Him is that we accept this wonderful gift! And a part of accepting His gift is to accept what He says about us.
How about Jeremiah 29:11 KJV? “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” The Lord thinks of me and you all the time. He ALWAYS has our best interests at heart, and His thoughts are for our peace. My goodness, that’s a hard one for me. I get so caught up with daily stuff that the enemy uses that opportunity to steal my peace. Many times he succeeds. How about you? BUT I know, all I have to do is bring these verses to mind and kick those negative thoughts out!
How about Matthew 10:31 KJV? “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” So who will you believe? I want to choose to believe my Creator.
Yes, there are many, many verses expounding the love God has for us even all the way back to Genesis. As individual and different we are from each other, He values our individuality. So if you are feeling insecure, less than, incompetent, unloved, undervalued, disregarded, abandoned, ignored, disdained, dismissed, etc., please take the time to go to your Bible and find these encouraging words. I promise they will make your day!
If you can let those words sink in, you will begin to act like you KNOW how valuable you are! That’s the essence of positive thinking, and God is the most “positive thinker” in the universe.Woman standing on balcony

What Does It Really Mean to Rest?

Women are busy. And we’re approaching a summer season of extreme busyness. So on top of all the “stuff” we do, like work, cleaning house, volunteer work, taking care of people in our lives who need our help (children, husband, parents, etc.), we are put to the test with extra work and expectations surrounding vacations.  I’m not saying I don’t have fun and enjoy Summer but don’t you agree, every new season adds its own special brand of business. And if you have children, you are busy with making sure your children are safe and busy while you continue to work as usual. Even if you are a work at home, there are still special challenges when our children are under our feet. Then the guilt, always guilt. We constantly ask ourselves: Are they in front of the TV too long? How late do I allow them to stay up during vacation? What activities can I get them involved in that won’t wear me totally out?

So I want to look at what the Word says about rest. We all need rest. All of us need physical rest and some of us need rest from worries, deadlines, pressures of expectations, do you get the picture? So I’ve been hearing the words “resting in the Lord” a lot lately. You know, I asked the Lord what to talk about today He gave me that one word REST. That was three weeks ago. Since then, everywhere I turn I’m hearing people talk about that “rest” we find in Jesus, even the devotionals I choose to read. Wonder what I need to learn? I first looked up the word in the dictionary and this is what I found, among other definitions, for the definition of rest.

A bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities – ok I can veg out in front of the tv

Freedom from activity or labor – yup I can take a day off work or leave my messy house

Peace of mind or spirit – oops this gets a little harder

Free of anxieties or disturbance – yeah I would love that

to cease from action or motion – so I don’t need to do anything?

refrain from labor or exertion – ok, yes, I can refrain from labor, don’t know for how long before things start to unravel

to cause to be firmly fixed – here is where I’m reminded of who or what we need to be firmly fixed on.

Yes, I thinking of Jesus. He is the one we can totally rest in and on. So if we leave all our anxieties, worries, disturbances at His feet, does that make us lazy. I don’t think so. I think for me it takes great effort to rest in Him. But then does that defeat the meaning of rest? No, it actually enhances rest for us when we let Him handle all our stuff.

“rest is not inactivity or laziness, but Holy Spirit-directed activity” (Joseph Prince)

Today from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – guess what the title is REST

Here is part of this devotional I read Wednesday of this week: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7

“REST in the deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. Release into My care anything that is troubling you, so that you can focus your full attention on Me. Be awed by the vast dimensions of My Love for you: wider, longer, higher, and deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this marvelous Love is yours forever!”

And here are some scriptures which specifically mention resting and the benefits of rest.

·         Exodus 33:14

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”

 

·         Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

·         Psalm 37:7

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

 

So as women, we probably need to set time into our schedule for rest. Whether it’s physical rest or spiritual rest. You might be wondering how can I do that when I have a house full of small children? Or vacations to plan? Or pets who need to be taken care of while we vacation? I don’t know what that would look like for you but you can ask the Lord to give you some ideas about how to spend that time resting in Him.

I’ve heard and read stories of how creative women can be in getting this time in.

How or when do you get your quiet time?

I remember when my sons were little, I would put them to bed and go to bed myself shortly afterward. But then I would get up about midnight and sit by myself in the deep quiet. Even read some of the book I’ve been trying to read. Sometimes I would take that time to read the newspaper along with drink milk and sneak in some cookies.

I’ve had to be intentional about my quiet time and sometimes I’m not so good at getting that time in. But when I do, the time I’ve spent with Jesus has been so sweet and refreshing I wonder why I let life take this away from me. And I believe the Lord had me write on rest today not only to speak it but to hear it in my spirit.

So what I want you to take away today is: Don’t let the busyness of your life and the upcoming summer take away from your quiet rest with Jesus. It’s not worth it ladies. He has so much in that place of rest for us to receive. And He wants to infuse us with that peace that comes from resting in Him.

Need a Speaker for Your Women’s Event?

I am available to speak if you have a need for your Women’s Event. My topics will always be around the subject of your value in the eyes of Jesus. Contact me here or you can go to the following website.

Hope everyone had an awesome Sunday and that your week beginning tomorrow will be blessed and peaceful, Spirit filled and profitable.